The abuse of our children and young people has always been a problem but now at least it is beginning to be openly reported and challenged. We must respond robustly, ensuring that every resource and opportunity is taken to protect the vulnerable in our society. This requires political leadership at every level of government but we have to move on from the constant reviews and report-writing.
There are many facets to sexual offending, and many practical steps which we can take but seeking to blame whole sections of our community is the very definition of a scapegoat, and the refuge for the scoundrel. There are many similarities from people who offend against children – and still most sex and violence committed against children is by family and friends – but race is clearly not one of them for it happens in every society. It has always been the saddest of truths that most abuse is committed by family and friends but this is almost incidental – our focus must be with the victims and their needs.
Together we should punish the guilty and protect the vulnerable but do not allow anyone to make political gain from the hurt of the victims, or the prejudice of others. Do not for one moment believe that people the world over do not want the same as you, and that most people hold the same values regardless of faith or origin. Let’s stand together as parents.
You can help protect children by making a donation here: ChildLine
Our friends walked off in a giggle,
A mist was swirling around the amber lights of night,
She stopped, seemed to bow. “I want to tell you something”
I heard her words but I was lost,
“Your dad?” She said her dad. I looked to her house.
“I did tell him to stop” she protested. But he did not.
In silence we hug. I feel her tear on my cheek.
“What do we do?” I will not let this happen again.
“I have told my mum” But no one else must know. No one.
Bewildered I continue in a haze “Did he hurt you?”
Apparently he ONLY made her do things and “he seemed sad”,
“It is ok….” Did not make sense. Why did she tell me?
We met in the playground. Storybook blue sky above.
She demanded a promise to lock away her secrets.
My hand was squeezed, and we never spoke again.